ClickTale’s Blogging Evolution

The Inspiration

It is our pleasure to unveil our new and improved Web Analytics & Usability Blog! This redesign was inspired entirely by you, our enthusiastic readers, bloggers, and tweeters, who have been an integral part of our growing community of online users.

Our Goals

Our main goals for this redesign were fourfold.

• Community Building – Increased visitor interaction
• Personalization – Better branding
• Easy Navigation – Improved usability
• Modern Look and Feel

Community building

Since our humble blog beginnings, our previous designs were very one dimensional in that they did not allow for the sharing or discussing of blog topics and themes with our readers. We wanted to encourage readers to initiate dialogue and share their ideas and opinions on blog content, beyond individual post comments.

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Personalization

Early on, we realized that we needed to make our blog our own by incorporating our ClickTale colors and giving readers the opportunity to learn more about us and our solution.

third clicktale blog ClickTales Blogging Evolution

We then added a navigational tool bar at the top to specific web pages on ClickTale.com

Visitors to a blog most likely have plenty of other blogs to read, or errands to run. So you have to give your potential readers a reason to stay. Although we say “never judge a book by its cover,” people do. And blogs are no different. If your blog looks and feels boring or unoriginal, it gives the impression that the content is boring and unoriginal, as well, discouraging visitors from reading.

Easy Navigation

Our original blog designs had very little flow and visitors did not really know how to navigate the blog. As we saw by using our heat maps, users had no clear navigational path to follow, neither to additional sections of our blog, nor to successive posts. We wanted to make it clear for visitors how to navigate around the blog and its content.

fourth blog heatmap1 ClickTales Blogging Evolution

Users were moving their mouse every which way, with no definitive navigational path. We wanted to create a structure that could offer readers some guidance and encouragement.

Navigational elements on blogs are tricky, as you want to encourage readership of your blog while also inviting visitors to explore additional pages/components of your site (if there are any). A blog with no navigational elements at all, can feel claustrophobic and make for an unenthusiastic read.

Modern Look and Feel

It’s 2011 and just as hairstyles and fashion trends change, so too does web usability appeal. Social networking is a modern feature to a blog, and with that we wanted a more updated look to our UI.

The Design Process

Before

• Header
Our previous top menu bar only offered to take readers to the Blog Homepage or the ClickTale.com homepage.

• Search Box
Our search box was located all the way at the top right of the page, where it was not being seen, and therefore, not used.

fourth clicktale blog3 ClickTales Blogging Evolution

Our previous blog design

• Social Networking Icons
On top of the search box were located four small social networking icons which were not easily visible, and not frequently used.

• Sidebar

We previously included recent posts and links to specific product pages. Mini product banners lined the sidebar, as well, which were not getting hits. Each individual post did not offer readers to engage on social networks and share our content.

The In-Between Phase

As with any redesign, there is the “almost, but not quite perfect” phase where you experiment with the main features you would like to edit, add or remove.

middle redesign phase1 ClickTales Blogging Evolution

We originally did not offer readers any option to navigate specific pages within CilcKTale. com. We also decided against dedicating our sidebar to Facebook as more readers were not connecting with us on Facebook.

As you can see in our preliminary design mock up, we did not offer readers any option to navigate to specific pages within ClickTale.com. Our focus was purely on the blog itself.

A large section of our side bar was dedicated to connecting on Facebook. However, we decided against it, as we felt that more readers interested in ClickTale were not connecting with us on Facebook, and more emphasis should be given to our newsletter subscription and Twitter action.

The Final Design

Ta-da!

redesign final ClickTales Blogging Evolution

We moved our search box moved to the left, added top navigational menu, as well as Twitter feed and a subscription box to our newsletter.

• Header
As we know from our Mouse Move Heatmaps, this is an extremely visible and frequented area of the web page for most visitors. Therefore, we wanted to include other frequented pages readers were searching for from the blog. We found that users who clicked on CickTale.com were navigating to either the About ClickTale or Contact us pages. We now include links that go directly to these pages, in addition to the ClickTale.com homepage.

header1 ClickTales Blogging Evolution

• Search Box
In response to our readers, we have now moved the search box to the left of the header menu to be more visible and in the line of mouse movement. To get more mouse action in our top right margin, we replaced the previous call-to-actions with a single, more prominent “Get Started” link to our pricing page.

• Streamlined Sidebar

The original sidebar of our blog included links to our different pricing pages, demos, and the ClickTale product tour. However, we found that visitors were not engaging with these call-to-action buttons. Furthermore, the recent posts listing did not carry much value for users as they could be accessed from the blog homepage.

sidebar1 ClickTales Blogging Evolution

• Social Networking Icons
The social network icons were not in easy sight access for our readers, and therefore, did not do a good job at motivating our users to connect online. We made the social network icons bigger and more prominent on the right hand side, as well as including them on the top of each separate post.

• Newsletter Subscription
We noticed that many interested ClickTalers were signing up to our RSS feed, and thought the newsletter might be a good way to engage readers with further ClickTale news and events. Now, underneath the social network icons, you can easily sign up for the ClickTale Newsletter.

tweets1 ClickTales Blogging Evolution


• Twitter

Underneath the small description of ClickTale, we now have a rotating Twitter feed showcasing your questions and comments. This is also beneficial to our readers who expose themselves to other readers in your industry to get to know them and follow their own Twitter profile.

• Individual Posts
In order to engage more with the social business sphere we wanted to make it easier for readers to tweet, like, or linked-in their thoughts or comments instantly upon reading a post. Now you can find Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn icon links at the top of each post.

Happy Blogging

Our blog is now welcoming guest writers! Whether you are an online marketer, web analytics guru or tech nerd, we want to hear from you. Top blog posts will be selected and featured regularly in our monthly newsletter, reaching an audience of over 50,000 ClickTale customers worldwide. This is a great way to spread your ideas and give word about your own products and services. Just contact us with your blog idea or content and we’ll have a look. We look forward to future blogging with you!

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